ADHD is often associated with poor school performance, behavior issues and difficultly in social functioning. The financial cost of caring for a child with ADHD can also be significant and is an area where parents and caregivers need all the support they can get.
Cost of care
Research is relatively new on the cost of caring for a child with ADHD. However, preliminary findings suggest that caring for a child with ADHD can cost about 30 percent more each year compared to a child without ADHD (Burd, Klug & Coumbe, 2003). According to the authors of the study, the annual cost of care for a child with ADHD was $649 compared to $495 for a child without ADHD.
Children with ADHD often have more hospitalizations, doctor visits and pharmacy charges just to name and few of the expenses. To demonstrate the significance, compared to children with asthma, children with ADHD have slightly higher treatment costs (Matza, Paramore & Prasad, 2005). And, the symptoms of ADHD impact not only the child, but also the family. Marital distress, loss work time and the inability to take promotions also count towards the increase cost of care.
Conversations and awareness of the costs associated with ADHD are important. As more is understood about the cost of care, more providers and employers may consider this aspect of the disorder in their decision-making processes. It is also important for families to be able to try to plan financially for the diagnosis and treatment of their child with ADHD. A financial advisor or tax preparer can help with the tax deductions related to medical expenses. A flexible spending account for your medical costs can also be helpful. You may also qualify for an insurance assistance program in your area to help with the costs of care.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. Learn more about Tracy and what healthy living services and products she can offer on her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.